Aug 14, 2022 • 55M

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Pizzas and Burgers and Unions and Multicultural Lunch

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Today’s Podcast is another full-length episode of the Food Fans Radio Show, which airs every Friday and Saturday on WPVM 103.7fm, Asheville’s Progressive Voice of the Mountains! This week features a great talk I had with Jennifer Hampton from AFBU (Asheville Food & Beverage United) about everything from upcoming events, to their discussions with the county about parking, to an ongoing conversation about the dangers involved with working until Midnight, 1am, or even 2am in downtown Asheville. Our talk is sandwiched between a review of my birthday meals at Storm & Typhoon Noodle on one end, and a live soda tasting at Rocket Fizz Asheville and a recap of our trip to Hendersonville on the other end.

Today’s Newsletter contains words and pictures of and about two excellent pizza pies I recently tried, as well as a burger recommend in Black Mountain, and an awesome Asheville Multicultural tasting that I went on with buddy Luis Carlos!


I recently got two noteworthy specialty pizzas, and they are both still available to you, though one of them will only be around until the end of the month, so you’d better get on it if you want it!


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My good friends at Manicomio pizza & food invited me and Paddy to come try their new Sicilian style pie, and it was incredible! The crust was thick, bready, fluffy on the inside, and crispy on the outside, the sauce was very deep in flavor, with sweet notes, and a little bit of spice that built-up over time, and the pepperoni was high-quality, thin sliced, and exactly the kind that I like on my pizza! Thank you, Manicomio! And the rest of you, get on in there to try this brand new, awesome addition to their menu!


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One of the best parts about being me lately is that every once in a while Chef Drew from Asheville Pizza South drops me a note, describes a pizza, and then brings it to me! wow! He recently delivered an amazing specialty pie, that he describes like this:

“The theme is Umami. We start with a crushed tomato and red miso paste with a lil chili crunch (not too spicy) and sesame oil for the base. It gets portobello mushrooms, water chestnuts, red onions and bamboo shoots soaked in chili oil. Top that with fresh mozzarella. After the oven, crushed up crunchy fried wonton noodles and scallions.”

I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t even make it inside my house before I had consumed an entire slice of this pizza! The first bite was an umami bomb, like, whoa, but my mouth got used to it right away and I was soon able to decipher & appreciate all of the deep flavors, enjoy the various textures, and notice the heat, which started subtle, then built up with each bite, but never got overwhelming. The sauce is where the super umami flavor comes from, the crust is very crispy and delicious, and the toppings were just fantastic! I loved this pizza, it’s their monthly special, so get on in to Asheville Pizza South to order this pie for yourself while you can! It will be available until the end of August. There’s a reason why these guys won the 2022 WNC Pizza Fight! 🔥🔥🔥🤘


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I was so excited to eat mine, that I totally forgot to take pictures, so the kitchen kindly made another one just so I could get these shots! So nice!

Some friends of ours were visiting WNC recently, and staying in Black Mountain, so we went out to visit them. They had an awesome cabin just outside of town, so we chilled there for a bit, and then went downtown, where we stopped into Foothills Local Meats butcher shop restaurant, where I had one of the best basic smash burgers in all of WNC! YOM!!! Anyone who’s had one of these burgers knows exactly what I’m talking about, and any burger-lover who hasn’t needs to get to Black Mountain, or find the food truck at Hi Wire Brewing in Biltmore Village, and treat yourself to the best that life has to offer. ❤️❤️❤️


My friend Luis Carlos and I went on another Asheville Multicultural menu tasting yesterday, to a great new place called La Rumba Restaurant Latino! It’s located on Tunnel Road, in the space where Bonefish Grill used to be, in the same plaza as Dick’s Sporting Goods. Knowmsayin? Now that you can picture where it is, feast your eyes on this cavalcade of comidas that came pouring forth from the kitchen! (see many more pictures on Facebook.)

Gah! Everything was super tasty, from the street corn to the tres leches, every bite was excellent. Chef Mike Martin came out to say hi, and it turns out I know him from his days at another restaurant downtown. It’s always nice to see old friends from the industry! The owner, a gentleman named Reynaldo Macario, sat with us for a good part of this meal, and I kinda know him too! He once gave me a ride to Pupuseria Paty Asheville so that I could try 10 crazy hotdogs, and acted as an interpreter, so it was great to see him again too! Luis Carlos and I tried nearly a dozen different dishes at La Rumba. We had tacos, empanadas, pork, beef cheek, chicken and fish. All of it fresh and delish. The meats are from local farms, like Hickory Nut Gap, and the produce is local and regional as well. They are open seven days a week, from breakfast 'til dinner, they are fully staffed, and, yes, Asheville, they have your favorite thing in the world… parking. 🙂

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